Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mosquitoes in January?

The Pineapple Express from Hawaii has been providing us with extremely wet and warm weather here in Vancouver. The term Pineapple Express sounds much more glamorous with images of Hawaiian fruit and cocktails arriving via the jet stream. What it really means is torrential rain, high humidity and warm temperatures. Almost all the snow on the local mountains has disappeared so snow shoeing has turned into rock shoeing! 

Today Neil, Dave and I did a 2.5 hour run on the Dirty Duo route in 15 degrees Celsius with very high humidity. It was a sweaty one! We were greeted by a hatch of mosquitoes near the creeks. I hope the wasps stay underground. Weather forecast is for more of the same. Perhaps next January we should just go to Hawaii! 

This week I did 4 spin classes, 1 TRX class, 1 sea wall walk, and 3 runs. Hoping to get outside more next week. 

Dave and I on one of the many slippery board walks on this route. 

Happy Robbie Burns Day! 

Fergus enjoying some Haggis! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bye Bye January Blues!

Snowshoeing on Mt. Seymour with Dave and Neil.
The lights on the ski runs lighting up the sky and the snow.
Fergus and I on the Buntzen Lake trail. He is small but strong and mighty - wow can he take me for a run!
 We are over the jet lag, the colds and the thick fog covering Vancouver has finally lifted. All great excuses to interfere with a runners motivation. It is half way through January and we are now starting to incorporate longer runs into our weekends. Last weekend we completed 2 hours on the Dirty Duo route and today we did 2 hours at Buntzen Lake on the Diez Vista route.The Dirty Duo and Diez Vista are 2 upcoming 50km events I plan to participate in.
The spinning classes throughout the winter have helped. I'm trying to join 3-4 spin classes/week, 1 TRX class/week and to get out for 4-5 runs/week. Last Friday night Neil, Dave and I enjoyed snowshoeing up Mt. Seymour. Hopefully this week will bring more snow to the mountains and we can go again soon. I really enjoy an evening snowshoe outing. We wear our headlamps and it is very peaceful and of course a great workout. Occasionally we enjoy a little mulled wine along the route!
The terrain at Buntzen is a bit rocky but Fergus just flies over it!
I do my best to keep up!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Marcothon moved from Loch Ness to Edinburgh and then back to Vancouver

After leaving the Inverness area we spent a few more days in Edinburgh. We started each day with a run. Neil and Graeme did an early morning speed run. I chose a later start on my own and a more leisurely pace. The weather was very nice, cold and clear.
We returned back to Vancouver last night. I had my final Marcothon run this morning in Golden Ears Park. Wow - it was a quick 10 day trip. Now the challenge will be to try and stay awake until midnight tonight to bring in the New Year. The 8 hour time difference and 9 hour flight from London always makes the first few days at home tough. The Champagne is chilling, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My Marcothon moved from Edinburgh to Loch Ness

Before leaving Edinburgh to spend Christmas at Loch Ness, we enjoyed another run on the Salisbury Crags in the morning.
On December 24th, Christmas Eve we headed out to go up Meallfuarvonie.  This round top hill is the highest peak around the shores of Loch Ness at 2283feet. It is a classic feature when viewing the loch from all directions.  Neil has always had his eye on hiking this hill and Christmas Eve was the day we set out to do this. We bundled up well and Neil carried a pack with extra gear.  One thing I didn't bring with me from home was proper foot wear for this type of outing. Note my light trainers!
As we climbed the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. It was snowy and icy underfoot although if you broke through, it was wet and boggy. I was starting to whine about my feet being frozen and of course it landed on deaf ears. No sympathy from the Ambrose brothers!
The conditions soon turned|arctic like and we were really facing the challenges of mother nature.  Neil reckons the winds at the summit were 120km/hr plus.  It was a white out blizzard and so the obligator stone was added to the cairn and a hasty retreat was hastened to lower ground.   
Things calmed down for the return journey and we were treated to nice views of Loch Ness. We were all happy to reach the car and quickly change out of our wet clothes. It was a memorable Scottish outing!
Christmas morning we woke to a beautiful sunny crisp day. We decided to go up Mealldonne a
 short drive from Graeme and Fiona's house.
Mealldonne the goal for today.
Frost underfoot - nice views!
That's snow covered Meallfuarvonie rising above the clouds where we were yesterday.

The top had a bit of snow and ice but nothing like yesterday's outing.
Happy Christmas to All!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Marcothon moves from Vancouver to Edinburgh

It was a very good start for the journey from Vancouver to Edinburgh with an upgrade to First Class on British Airways!
Enjoying a coffee at Starbucks on the Royal Mile to get kick started and over the jet lag.
More Starbucks for me too!
My Marcothon today took place by running down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh with an out and back at the bottom of the Salisbury Crags and then back up the Royal Mile to St. Giles Street. Dinner with family was calling!
I ran past the Scottish Parliament.
Back to our accommodation. It gets dark here early at this time of year. Good thing I brought my head lamp! Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Why We Do the Things We Do!

Today was a good exercise day! The Friday morning spin class was led by my favourite instructor and Neil and I had a run together on my favourite trail at Hayward Lake. I've been running the midweek Marcothon runs on my own so it was nice to have Neil join me today.

My friend Marla sent me a poem she wrote after completing an ultra event. I think it illustrates very nicely why we do what we do!

The Worst Yet Best Sleep
Trying to sleep after an ultra trail race!
My head hit the pillow; I've been waiting for this moment.
I told myself - this is what I look forward to the most after a long race.
I toss, I turn, I tumble and I torment.
My shoulders are stiff from carrying my pack.
My butt is sore from climbing.
My quads are sore from down hills.
My calves are sore from grinding up to viewpoints.
My feet are sore from carrying my body over roots and rocks.
My stomach cries for calories.
Why do I look forward to this the most - this sleepless night?
I smile as I lay trying to anticipate the next sleeping position.
I know why I look forward to this the most - this sleepless night.
I have shoulders to carry my pack.
I have power to climb up.
I have able legs to go down.
I have calves that take me to views.
I have eyes to these views.
I have feet that can carry me many miles and not give up.
I have food to eat.
I'm alive and fortunate to enjoy a long trail race.
My Sleepless night reminds me of this.
That's why I look forward to this moment the most - this sleepless night.
I'm alive.
By Marla
At this time of year it is nice to reflect on the year gone past and to set goals for the upcoming year. I hope you find this poem inspirational as we celebrate the year 2014 and dream big for 2015! ;-)
Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Marcothon from Vancouver


Seawall - Coal Harbour, Vancouver.
How is your Marcothon going? Wow it was tough last week with very high winds and heavy rain here in Vancouver. Neil has been very busy with his work so those mid week runs I have been on my own. Thankfully we have a long driveway at the farm that allows for loops! This weekend we ran on the seawall in Vancouver. Today, Fergus and I ran through Stanley Park over to English Bay and then back to Coal Harbour. Fergus (dog) is now passed out on the couch. Here's hoping the weather is better this week...I will be dodging a few Christmas parties this week. I'm sure they won't mind if I show up in my running gear!?